| March 1, 2013

*  U.S. wireless consumers pay more than 17 percent on average in taxes and fees on their monthly cellphone bills. The highest tax rates are in Nebraska, Washington, and New York, while the least taxed cellphone users are in Idaho, Nevada and Oregon. Chicago Tribune

* Even though Americans drove more fuel-efficient cars and consumed less fuel than ever in 2012, an Energy Department report says households spent almost 4 percent of their pretax income on gas – the highest percentage in 30 years. Los Angeles Times

* Nearly 44 percent of Americans don’t have enough savings to cover basic expenses for more than three months in the event of a financial emergency like losing their job or paying for unexpected medical care. Almost a third have no savings accounts at all.

Double Tax

Drivers in a cash strapped suburb of Houston will soon be charged a “crash tax” if they get into an accident. The new fee will range from $500 to $2,000, depending on the severity of the accident, and will be used to cover the cost of sending police, paramedics and fire trucks to the scene. “Don’t we pay them to do that already? asked local motorist Meredith Johnson.

Waste not Want not

Montana lawmakers passed a bill allowing residents to bring home and eat road-killed game such as bears and bighorn sheep. “People hit a lot of animals,” said state Rep. Steve Lavin. “There’s a lot of good meat being wasted out there.”

How to avoid being crushed by a semi-trailer

*Don’t assume a truck can stop. Eighteen-wheelers aren’t sports cars, so never pull into the path of a truck that’s roaring down the highway or even rolling freely down a rural road. A semi takes roughly three times longer to stop than a car.

* Avoid passing on the righ. “A trucker doesn’t have blind spots; he has blind fields.” Refrain from hanging alongside a truck for long, and definitely avoid passing on the right. If a trucker is in the left lane on a highway, it’s usually for a reason: There could be an obstancle in the lane ahead or police stopped on the right shoulder.

* Mind turn signals. Yield immediately to a semi if its left blinker starts flashing. You can’t always tell what lies ahead in the road, but the lane ahead of the truck might be blocked and your lane just might be the trucker’s only out.

Source: Popular Mechanics.

Cell Stock?

* Americans are hoarding their old phones. Only 20 percent of American sell or recycle their old phones, and more than half say they have two or more unused cellphones lying around. Collectively, those phones stack up to a trade-in value of $34 billion.

Just Doesn’t Seem Fair

* Facebook’s first annual earnings report showed $1.1 billion in pretax profits, but the social networking firm will likely pay zero federal and state taxes. Instead, thanks to some clever bookkeeping, the company is expected to receive a $429 million tax refund.

We’re All Authors and Don’t Know It!

* The average office worker spends 650 hours a year – 28 percent of working hours – reading and writing emails. The total number of words in those emails, 41,400, is equivalent to a novel 166 pages long. The

Have You?

33% of Americans admit they’ve already broken or cheated on their New Year’s resolutions.


Category: Articles, House & Home

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